Spring Eval: WR & TE

Spring Eval Period is when coaches head out to evaluate and find top talent. Here at HornsDigest.com and Scout.com, we evaluate those same players. So who are the top players in the state of Texas? Here are the top five wide receivers and top two tight ends for 2015.

My Top Five Wide Receivers In Texas

1) DaMarkus Lodge, 6-2.5 190, Cedar Hill —Big, strong and fast, Lodge is a dominant force at the receiver position, and far and away the state's top talent at that spot. He brings a lot of the same things that made Cayleb Jones such a special prospect in 2012 — a long, powerful build with great body control and big, soft hands that he uses to be dominant in the air and on 50-50 balls. But Lodge is also faster than Jones was at this point, making him more dangerous on vertical balls. You can see that speed when he runs deeper routes … when he separates on his break, defensive backs don't catch back up. Lodge caught 72 passes for 1,255 yards and 22 touchdowns last year.

2) Kemah Siverand, 6-0 180, Cypress Falls — A one-time running back, Siverand is an intriguing wide receiver prospect because of the way he runs routes and his ability to gain yards after the catch. He routinely clocks in the 4.55 range, so he's not a burner, but he's still someone who separates easily on the football field, where it counts, and he does a nice job of not losing speed or gearing down when he cuts. The best part about Siverand is that his best football is still ahead of him … while he shows the traits necessary to excel at the next level, he's still building up his skill set. Siverand caught 25 passes for 611 yards and seven scores a year ago.

3) Ryan Newsome, 5-8 170, Aledo — The state's top slot receiver, Newsome is an absolute burner, as evidenced by the 10.77 100-meter dash he turned in at the Texas Relays … while letting up because it was the preliminary round. Newsome has clocked sub-10.6 in the past, meaning that if he goes to the Big 12, he'll be among the league's 10 or so fastest players from the second he arrives. But Newsome's more than a track star. The former quarterback is blistering quick in pads and is one of the state's top broken field runners, as evidenced by the fact that he tied the national high school record for more punt return touchdowns a year ago. Get him the ball in space, or line him up one-on-one in the slot, and you're asking for a big play. As an example of his big-play ability, Newsome rushed for 826 yards at almost 10 yards per carry, scoring eight touchdowns, had 532 yards and 10 touchdowns on 21 catches (25.3 yards per catch) and scored eight return touchdowns, seven on punt returns.

4) Carlos Strickland, 6-5 195, Dallas Skyline — The state's top jumbo receiver, Strickland is a long 6-5 but also has the speed to run away from people in the open field. Because of that outstanding size/speed combination, he may be the highest-potential wideout in this class, even if his skill set isn't quite as high as a Lodge at this point. With his frame, hands and the way he runs, he could be a force in college, though he needs to work on his route-running. He's primarily a vertical threat at this point, and though that will probably always be a part of his game, he needs to continue to establish himself as a weapon over the middle, on third downs and in red zone situations. He averaged 21.8 yards on his 33 catches (719 yards) last year, scoring 10 touchdowns.

5) Chad President, 6-3 195, Temple — The lone committed player of this top five, President has pledged to Baylor. And while he's asking to be a quarterback in Waco, he might be best off embracing a move to wide receiver. President has a nice, muscled build that should hold 200-210 pounds at the next level without losing any speed. As an athlete, he's a lot like another quarterback-turned-receiver prospect in Texas signee Lorenzo Joe. The two have similar size/speed measureables, and like Joe, President has nice soft hands and great ball skills that would enable him to be a possession threat at the next level. President may actually run slightly better than Joe, and could continue to add to a vertical Baylor passing game that relies on not just speed, but an understanding with the quarterback. President actually played receiver as a sophomore, catching 34 balls for 786 yards and nine touchdowns. Allen wide receiver Jalen Guyton, a Notre Dame commitment, and fellow Baylor commitment Devontre Stricklin of Waco Midway, were also considered for this spot.

Scout.com's Top Five In-State Wide Receivers

1) Lodge ***** (No. 2 nationally)

2) Strickland **** (No. 10)

3) Siverand **** (No. 21)

4) Newsome **** (No. 23)

5) President **** (No. 33)

My Top Two Tight Ends In Texas

1) Jordan Davis, 6-4.5 255, Clear Lake — It's gotten tougher and tougher to find pure tight ends in the state, part of the reason there are only two on this list. But the Texas A&M commit stands with 2013 product Durham Smythe (now at Notre Dame) and 2016's Kaden Smith of Flower Mound Marcus as the best pure tight ends the state has produced in recent years (meaning two-way tight ends, as opposed to 1) blockers only and 2) big flex receivers). Davis certainly has the size and frame to do both at nearly 6-5 and 255 pounds, and he ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash at 247 pounds at Texas camp last year. He's more than just a size-speed guy though, as he understands how to use his body to box out smaller defenders, and he displays receiver-like hands. Last year, Davis snagged 39 passes for 558 yards and five touchdowns.

2) Hanner Shipley, 6-5 260, Marble Falls Faith Academy — Shipley is more in-line with the block-first tight ends the state can produce. The LSU commitment is built like an offensive tackle prospect, and it's fairly likely that he winds up on either line at the next level, either as an offensive tackle or guard, or as a defensive tackle. He does move pretty well for his size, and he has the ability to down block and seal the edge as a tight end. But despite his family — he's cousins with Jordan and Jaxon Shipley — don't expect him to put up big numbers as a receiver.

Scout.com's Top Five In-State Wide Receivers

1) Davis **** (No. 3 nationally)

2) Shipley *** (No. 14)

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